United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Marhaba! UAE is one of the easiest places to settle in. It is extremely safe, pretty with world class amenities and always has fun things going on . To be honest , the convenience and comfort of this city is unmatched and you will soon figure this out yourself. Here are some of the tips to give you a head start;

Accommodation:

Something for everyone at all price points. Apartments /Villas /Communities. Best would be to decide on the area first and then shortlist places. Dubizzle.com is your holy grail.

https://www.dubizzle.com/

Transportation:

Taxis can be quite expensive. It is cheaper to rent a car if you have an international license. Using Metro(only for Dubai)/ buses to go around is a reasonable option. When the weather gets too hot , which is like more than half a year, you may consider using an Uber for short duration to avoid walking in the sun.

Shopping ;

You cannot NOT think about the shopping when in UAE. It won’t be an exaggeration to call it a shopping capital of the middle east. You will be spoilt for choices. Needless to say , all brands are available . The biggest sales happen during summers and the winters . Lot of people people are turning to online shopping . Almost all leading brands also have their online portal and one can avail great discounts.

Even for groceries , small stores and hypermarket giants such as Carrefour and Lulu, they all deliver . Make a membership card /download App of these stores to avail points each time you shop and further savings.

Fruits, meat, everything can be delivered at your doorstep.

Schooling:

There is no dearth of good international schools in UAE. Best to decide on the area and then shortlist schools as per your choice of curriculum and budget .The schools have a rating and are assessed by a neutral local body . The following websites should answer all your questions ;

Dubai https://www.khda.gov.ae/en/

Abu Dhabi https://www.edarabia.com/schools/abu-dhabi/

Sharjah https://www.edarabia.com/schools/sharjah/

Medical :

Getting medical insurance is mandatory otherwise medical is simply unaffordable. Your company should cover it or you need to purchase it yourself. Even with the medical card, you may still be required to pay 50AED or more. The consultation can easily cost you AED 500 or more. The insurance would cover the consultation and most of your medicines as per prescription depending on the insurance company policies and approvals.

Dining/Recreational Activities:

The options are ENDLESS. Buying an Entertainer and Zomato app is a smart investment as it gives you countless buy one / get one free options in meals, drinks and numerous indoor and outdoor activities. Dining out is expensive and recreational activities even more, so buying these apps is a no brainer!

Keep an eye out for deals on Groupon and Cobone for some great bargains.

DONT’S

  1. Please respect the local customs. NO PDA. There are no restrictions in terms of dressing but don’t go to the mall wearing a bikini. Dubai is by far the most liberal emirate.
  2. Be careful what you say on social media. Taking a picture without consent /defamation is a violation in UAE.
  3. Adhere to speed limits . There are cameras at every corner and they really can put a hole in your wallet.